I obviously have a lot of opinions when it comes to data collections. I can’t help it! I am a data snob. I like things in a certain specific way. You know why? Because it works! When your data system is set up in a way that is organized, convenient, and straightforward, you actually take data. Lots of data. And your aides take data. And you see progress. And you see inappropriate behavior decreases. And you feel great about yourself. Because you are awesome.
So how can you join this picturesque vision of perfection? Tips for organizing you data collection system:
Make it easy. If it isn’t easy you won’t use it. Enough said.
Find a system that works for you. My organization system may not be the best fit for your classroom. That’s okay. Maybe you hate clipboards. Maybe you love folders? Or binders? It doesn’t matter. Whatever works, works.
Have your paraprofessionals take data. Why are you doing all the work? Make sure you train your paraprofessionals on how to take data. You will get so much more done – your students will master skills more quickly, maintain mastery, and improve generalization. Utilize your paraprofessionals!!
Plan ahead. Save yourself a little headache and plan ahead on some of your goals or programs. I ran into this problem where I would set up my aide working on 4 colors with a student but did clarify what to work on once those were mastered. She would ask me in the morning and then I would get pulled in a million directions and completely forget.
Use location specific data. Put your data sheets near where you take the data!
Make efficient data sheets. Fill in the names of the students or types of behaviors. Fill in the names of stimuli ahead of time (ie: if you working on letter identification – fill in the letters in the data sheet). Make codes for prompts (pp= partial physical, v=verbal, g= gestural etc.). Create data sheets so you are circling when possible – ie: circle what prompt you used instead of writing it in.
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Hope you enjoyed Step 5- Data! Next we are on to Step 7 – Work Tasks & IEP Goals!